I’ve mentioned before, I try to read the Bible every morning. Lately, I have been reading 2 Kings. Sometimes, I find it really fascinating. Sometimes, I find it rather boring. The history of the kings of Israel starts in 1 Samuel, with Saul. I’ve continued to read these books in order, because I have become interested in this chronology.
I’m no Bible scholar. I’m sure I miss some important information. The names of some of these kings are very hard to pronounce, even in my head. There were many ungodly kings, who caused Israel to sin. Many of them were killed – sometimes by their own sons. That usually gets my attention.
Hezekiah, one of the kings of Judah, stands out. He did what was right, in the eyes of the Lord. Later in his life, Hezekiah became ill and was dying. 2 Kings 20:2-6 (New American Standard Bible) Then he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, saying, “Remember now, O LORD, I beseech You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart and have done what is good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “Return and say to Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of your father David, “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the LORD. “I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.”‘”
This passage stuck with me. I mean, that’s pretty significant – God sending a message to Hezekiah, through the prophet Isaiah, and extending his life for 15 years. I read it a couple of times over two days, because when I returned to it, as often happens when I’m finding where I left off the previous day, I re-read a paragraph or two.
Here’s where things get weird. A couple of weeks ago, I began helping to cover for someone in another department, who was on vacation. I sat at a desk that was shared by a few different people. On the first day, when I was training, I didn’t notice a plastic cup that was holding some pens. I noticed it the second day, and I saw that it had a cross on it, which I thought was nice. The third day, I noticed it had tiny lettering below the cross, and realized it was a Bible verse. I took a closer look. It was part of the verse 2 Kings 20:5. I think it was from the NIV: “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you.” This bothers me a little. It’s taken out of context. God was making this promise to a particular individual, in a particular circumstance, which is not how it’s presented here.
But, that’s not what I want to focus on. I was floored when I saw this, because that very morning was when I read that verse for the second time. If it had been Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (KJV) or Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”, I wouldn’t have thought too much of it. I see these verses pretty often, and I draw on them often. But 2 Kings 20:5? That is not one that is quoted often, and to see it after just reading it two days in a row, when it stuck with me for the first time? That is odd.
I don’t believe in coincidences. I pray most mornings for God to let me feel His presence. We have to look for those things. I learned a long time ago, that I have to quit talking so much and keep my eyes and ears open to see and hear His presence. When I witness something like this, I can’t ignore it. If this is God, allowing me to feel His presence, how does He orchestrate such a thing? Like so many things with God, it is beyond my understanding. But, that doesn’t make it any less real.
We live on a nearly empty road in the country. It’s part of a development, that hasn’t really developed. But, we do have street lights. When it’s dark, the screens in our windows make the lights look like a row of crosses. Depending on how clear it is, the moisture in the air, who knows what else, they can look extremely brilliant at times. I’ve tried a few times to capture this on film, but I haven’t had much success. This is the best I’ve been able to do.
God does speak to us in all kind of ways . . . through His word, song, images, events . . . if only we make the effort to notice.